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Why this student didn't deploy... the rest of the story

 


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

May 22, 2012, 11:24 AM
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Why this student didn't deploy... the rest of the story Can't Post

I had an interesting instructional jump last weekend. It was an AFF Level 4 (Cat C). The gear-up and ride to altitude were unremarkable. His exit was fine and he did a practice pilot chute touch without any difficulty. His 90 degree turns started well but he was unable to stop the turns. I did two soft spin stops and gave corrective hand signals after each. The turns got a bit better (only about 180 degrees rather than a gentle spin). He was very altitude aware and was stable and quiet approaching pull altitude.

At pull altitude he could not reach the BOC handle and suddenly started to “swim” vigorously. My assessment was that he was too distressed for me to attempt hand signals or an “assist” to help him reach the handle. I deployed his main pilot chute for him and he had an uneventful main canopy deployment. He landed safely at the far end of the airport.

When our ground staff picked him up, he related that his shoulder had dislocated during his attempt to deploy his main! The student’s shoulder was readily reduced at the hospital and he was back at the DZ smiling a few hours later.

I wonder what would have happened if I had tried to “assist” him to reach his pilot chute while his shoulder was dislocated. I am glad that I abandoned the “8-second dance” script and went with my gut assessment that deploying for him was the best first action.

The student showed really good problem solving under canopy. He figured out that he could put both toggles in one hand to flare… and landed safely! That is remarkable given his inexperience and pain at that moment.

I hope that his shoulder recovers enough to allow him to skydive safely in the future.


Deisel  (D 31661)

May 22, 2012, 4:47 PM
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Why this student didn't deploy... the rest of the story [In reply to] Can't Post

Bravo brother! Great call when it was needed. The rule book is a suggestion, not the law. A heads up instructor should always fully asses the situation and do what you FEEL is right. Of course this is only ok with experience and judgement but something that comes with time in the trenches. And also another reason experience requirements should NOT be lowered.


rss_v

May 22, 2012, 11:57 PM
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Why this student didn't deploy... the rest of the story [In reply to] Can't Post

Very odd situation - definitely worth thinking what happens if you physically manipulate someone's hand/arm into position.

At my DZ some of the student rigs I do my best to avoid because it's a great strain on my shoulder to reach the handle - it feels terrible. I'm not surprised to hear that reaching behind one's back like that, probably quite quickly, can dislocate a shoulder if it's perhaps prone to that.

(I'm sure those rigs could be adjusted finely to make them fit me, but the point is that they never were and I doubt many DZs take the time to fit the rig to the student - since one size kind of fits all and it would take a lot of time to sort them out)

Also, the way I was shown to reach around for the handle was very stressful to my shoulder, and I later developed my own motion that was much more comfortable.


ufk22  (D 16168)

May 23, 2012, 6:14 AM
Post #4 of 8 (2075 views)
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Why this student didn't deploy... the rest of the story [In reply to] Can't Post

The "dance" is a rule only for the AFF course. Most I-Es will tell you that real life has only one rule, deploy above minimum altitude (ok, maybe just deploy).


Ron

May 23, 2012, 6:56 AM
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Why this student didn't deploy... the rest of the story [In reply to] Can't Post

There is nothing better you could have done.


talon2

May 24, 2012, 3:00 AM
Post #6 of 8 (1889 views)
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Re: [Deisel] Why this student didn't deploy... the rest of the story [In reply to] Can't Post

nice job


TitaniumLegs  (D 19246)

May 24, 2012, 10:57 AM
Post #7 of 8 (1786 views)
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Why this student didn't deploy... the rest of the story [In reply to] Can't Post

Student should check with his doctor and make absolutely certain this won't happen again. Should seriously reconsider future involvement in the sport.

DZ needs to consider risk and liability of allowing a student with known and demonstrated shoulder issue to continue jumping.

Student needs to remember EPs: If unable to deploy main after 2-3 attempts, deploy the reserve. You can use the other hand for that. I saw it once on B-C licensed jumper. Shoulder dislocated on exit or soon after. Deployed her reserve at pull time. Landed a little hard but was otherwise fine.

Oh, and:
Pull
Pull on time / before assigned altitude
Pull stable


Feeblemind  (D 28621)

May 25, 2012, 9:49 PM
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Re: [TitaniumLegs] Why this student didn't deploy... the rest of the story [In reply to] Can't Post

We had the same situation at our DZ a few years ago and there was outside video. On the video you can clearly see the dislocation (front few), but from the instructor's point of view it was not as clear. She went to reach once, strike, she reached again strike 2, as the instructor was moving in she fired silver!!

+1 to Leah, missed twice, went to silver, just like she was trained.



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